Faith Over Fear
By Valerie, stage II anal cancer survivor, former CanCare client, CanCare volunteer
When I found out I had cancer, everything in life I valued no longer mattered. I worried about my dogs, family and job. What would happen if I died? Once the pathology came back, I knew I was going to be facing chemo and radiation for Stage III anal cancer. What was I going to tell people? How embarrassing! What was going to happen with my job? I was so burdened with thoughts in my head that starting treatment was a welcome escape.
A few weeks into treatment I began to have the side effects. My long hair was falling out, no appetite, sores in my mouth and radiation burns that were so painful I cannot even describe. My thinking became fuzzy and I once again began to worry I would not make it. At this time, I contacted CanCare and spoke to a woman who had faced and won the battle I was fighting. I felt so uplifted and re-energized to continue fighting and accept what was happening.
The walls of that dark box began to break down and the light started shining in. Soon my treatment ended and I was on the road to recovery. I survived the treatment. I joined CanCare as a volunteer. I made a promise to God that I would help anyone I could if I survived. My work here is not over, I want to be a beacon of light to anyone facing this disease. I needed to heal both on the outside and inside. Since becoming a volunteer, I have helped numerous women who have faced this rare cancer. We have laughed, cried and just connected on a level that no one can understand unless you have been through this cancer.